THE Mayor of the City and County of Limerick is to call a special meeting of Limerick City and County Council following the news that Aer Lingus is set to permanently close its base at Shannon Airport.
Describing it as ‘a very sad day for Limerick and the Mid-West’ the Mayor Michael Collins said:
“I’m thinking especially of the 126 staff and their families at Shannon Airport who are now facing redundancy at the end of a long and very successful era for Aer Lingus at Shannon,” he said.
“While I understand that the aviation industry has been severely impacted by the Covid 19 pandemic, we now need clarification from Aer Lingus about what this means for the retention of services particularly on our key routes into Heathrow and North America and a timeline for when these are expected to resume.”
“I’m calling on the government to implement the recommendations of the taskforce on aviation to assist the sector to recover from the Covid crisis and to introduce policies to protect Shannon and other regional airports outside of Dublin.”
“Since Shannon was separated from the DAA, it was the second fastest growing airport pre-covid. It grew its passenger numbers by just over 300,000, while Cork grew by almost 250,000. Dublin, however, grew passenger numbers by 13.8 million winning 96% of all new passengers into Ireland. That is not sustainable for airports outside of the capital and policy needs to be introduced to ensure this market monopoly does not continue in recovery or other airports will struggle to survive.”
“I’m also calling on the government to fast-track the appointment of a new Chairperson for the Shannon Group as it has been without one now for nine months in the biggest crisis for aviation ever in Ireland and this appointment needs to be in place as a matter of urgency.”